Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

academic discourse Related Abstracts

4 The Use of Hedging Devices in Studens’ Oral Presentation

Authors: Siti Navila

Abstract:

Hedging as a kind of pragmatic competence is an essential part in achieving the goal in communication, especially in academic discourse where the process of sharing knowledge among academic community takes place. Academic discourse demands an appropriateness and modesty of an author or speaker in stating arguments, to name but few, by considering the politeness, being cautious and tentative, and differentiating personal opinions and facts in which these aspects can be achieved through hedging. This study was conducted to find the hedging devices used by students as well as to analyze how they use them in their oral presentation. Some oral presentations from English Department students of the State University of Jakarta on their Academic Presentation course final test were recorded and explored formally and functionally. It was found that the most frequent hedging devices used by students were shields from all hedging devices that students commonly used when they showed suggestion, stated claims, showed opinion to provide possible but still valid answer, and offered the appropriate solution. The researcher suggests that hedging can be familiarized in learning, since potential conflicts that is likely to occur while delivering ideas in academic contexts such as disagreement, criticism, and personal judgment can be reduced with the use of hedging. It will also benefit students in achieving the academic competence with an ability to demonstrate their ideas appropriately and more acceptable in academic discourse.

Keywords: hedging, academic discourse, hedging devices, lexical hedges, Meyer classification

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3 Evaluation Means in English and Russian Academic Discourse: Through Comparative Analysis towards Translation

Authors: Albina Vodyanitskaya

Abstract:

Given the culture- and language-specific nature of evaluation, this phenomenon is widely studied around the linguistic world and may be regarded as a challenge for translators. Evaluation penetrates all the levels of a scientific text, influences its composition and the reader’s attitude towards the information presented. One of the most challenging and rarely studied phenomena is the individual style of the scientific writer, which is mostly reflected in the use of evaluative language means. The evaluative and expressive potential of a scientific text is becoming more and more welcoming area for researchers, which stems in the shift towards anthropocentric paradigm in linguistics. Other reasons include: the cognitive and psycholinguistic processes that accompany knowledge acquisition, a genre-determined nature of a scientific text, the increasing public concern about the quality of scientific papers and some such. One more important issue, is the fact that linguists all over the world still argue about the definition of evaluation and its functions in the text. The author analyzes various approaches towards the study of evaluation and scientific texts. A comparative analysis of English and Russian dissertations and other scientific papers with regard to evaluative language means reveals major differences and similarities between English and Russian scientific style. Though standardized and genre-specific, English scientific texts contain more figurative and expressive evaluative means than the Russian ones, which should be taken into account while translating scientific papers. The processes that evaluation undergoes while being expressed by means of a target language are also analyzed. The author offers a target-language-dependent strategy for the translation of evaluation in English and Russian scientific texts. The findings may contribute to the theory and practice of translation and can increase scientific writers’ awareness of inter-language and intercultural differences in evaluative language means.

Keywords: Evaluation, Translation, scientific writing, academic discourse, scientific text

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2 Developing a Discourse Community of Doctoral Students in a Multicultural Context

Authors: Jinghui Wang, Minjie Xing

Abstract:

The increasing number of international students for doctoral education has brought vitality and diversity to the educational environment in China, and at the same time constituted a new challenge to the English teaching in the higher education as the majority of international students come from developing countries where English is not their first language. To make their contribution to knowledge development and technical innovation, these international doctoral students need to present their research work in English, locally and globally. This study reports an exploratory study with an emphasis on the cognition and construction of academic discourse in the multicultural context. The present study aims to explore ways to better prepare them for international academic exchange in English. Voluntarily, all international doctoral students (n = 81) from 35 countries enrolled in the English Course: Speaking and Writing as a New Scientist, participated in the study. Two research questions were raised: 1) What did these doctoral students say about their cognition and construction of English academic discourses? 2) How did they manage to develop their productive skills in a multicultural context? To answer the research questions, data were collected from self-reports, in-depth interviews, and video-recorded class observations. The major findings of the study suggest that the participants to varying degrees benefitted from the cognition and construction of English academic discourse in the multicultural context. Specifically, 1) The cognition and construction of meta-discourse allowed them to construct their own academic discourses in English; 2) In the light of Swales’ CARS Model, they became sensitive to the “moves” involved in the published papers closely related to their study, and learned to use them in their English academic discourses; 3) Multimodality-driven presentation (multimedia modes) enabled these doctoral student to have their voice heard for technical innovation purposes; 4) Speaking as a new scientist, every doctoral student felt happy and able to serve as an intercultural mediator in the multicultural context, bridging the gap between their home culture and the global culture; and most importantly, 5) most of the participants reported developing an English discourse community among international doctoral students, becoming resourceful and productive in the multicultural context. It is concluded that the cognition and construction of academic discourse in the multicultural context proves to be conducive to the productivity and intercultural citizenship education of international doctoral students.

Keywords: academic discourse, multicultural context, international doctoral students, meta-discourse

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1 Adjectives in Academic Discourse: A Comparative Study of Research Articles

Authors: Beata Grymska

Abstract:

The research studies on academic discourse focus in general on lexical bundles, epistemic modality markers, or interactions between writers and readers. Following the research into the written forms of the academic community, this study concentrates on adjectives in research articles. The study investigates the distribution of adjectives in research articles in two academic disciplines: linguistics and medicine. It is corpus-based in design and consists of 100 linguistic and 100 medical research articles all written in English. The aim of the study is to compare the distribution of adjectives between the two corpora and four main parts of articles: IMRD (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion). The second aim is to see if the two corpora share common core adjectives, e.g., different, important, specific, and if there are discipline-specific adjectives. The further part of the paper elaborates on adjectives use in the corpora together with examples. The results indicate that the two corpora do not differ in the distribution of adjectives to a great extent. The occurrences of the most frequently used adjectives depend on the academic discipline of the research articles. The concluding part reflects upon the role of adjectives in academic discourse and also presents how corpora can be helpful in composing academic texts.

Keywords: research articles, corpus analysis, academic discourse, academic texts, adjectives

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